Len is Your Friend when it comes to important issues that affect the everyday lives of hardworking Virginians just like you. Len understands that in the face of big corporations and special interests, our community needs to have its voice heard now more than ever. It’s time to elect new leaders like Len who will care more about the neighbors who elected him than corporate interest lobbyists and their money. Len will be your Friend in bringing about the new Virginia that you deserve.
Len is the proud product of a solid public school education having graduated from I.C. Norcom High School which was Portsmouth’s only magnet school at the time. Len also understands the needs for special needs children as his son excels in a public school which integrates such students into traditional classrooms. Education is the bedrock of our democracy and the key to a strong economy.
That’s why Len wants to restore state funding for public education. Students are failing and schools are crumbling because state funding has been frozen since it was slashed ten years ago during the great recession. The time has come to restore that funding, so cities like Chesapeake and Virginia Beach don’t have to take drastic measures like raising property taxes to cover the shortfall caused by the state funding gap. State funding formulas need to be fixed to reduce the student/teacher ratio and provide for more counselors in behavioral health. Teacher pay needs to be increased and more innovation should be brought into the classroom. There is so much to be done to improve education in Virginia and Len is ready to make that happen.
Flooding and the Environment
There is no greater natural threat to our district than the consequences of sea level rise in Virginia Beach. Protecting the homes, farms, and businesses in Virginia Beach is no less important than protecting our maritime ports and military bases. Virginia Beach is an integral part of our state’s tourism and agricultural industries. If nothing is done, Virginia Beach will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year due to flood damage.
Len will take our needs to the General Assembly and help bring back every dollar he can to fund the building of infrastructure to protect what makes Virginia Beach special. Sea levels are rising every year and the sooner we can act, the safer we can make our communities. Len is the new kind of leadership we need in Richmond; a leader who will listen to the concerns of his constituents and fight to protect what you have worked so hard to build in the face of this emerging threat to our community.
Len also believes in preserving the beauty and natural features that make our neck of the woods so special. That is why Len will oppose any offshore drilling, mandate greater utilization of renewable energy sources, and protect the way of life in our rural communities from the encroachment of sprawling development.
For far too many Virginians, the cost of healthcare is spiraling out of control. We have seen the price of prescription medications and insurance rise year after year with no real solutions on how to reign in these expenses. Many Virginians are also unable to afford long-term care insurance, placing a significant burden on Virginia Medicaid in the process.
Every Virginian should have access to quality affordable healthcare. The high cost of healthcare is not only a burden to hardworking families but also to small businesses that do their best to provide medical benefits for their employees. Len is committed to finding solutions to these problems because every Virginian has a right to quality healthcare.
Living Wage and Employee Rights
No one working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. Yet, this is the case for far too many hardworking Virginians trying to support their families while working two and three part-time jobs below $15 an hour. A recent study found that with the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour applied to our state’s cost of living; Virginia’s minimum wage employees earn the lowest effective incomes in the nation. In a state that ranks as one of the 10 wealthiest states in America, these working conditions are unacceptable.
Len personally understands the challenge of trying to make ends meet when times are tough. That is why he is committed to raising Virginia’s minimum wage to a living wage of $15.00 an hour. Every full-time job should be able to support a middle-class standard of living, and no parent should have to sacrifice spending time with their kids in order to support them by working multiple full-time jobs. Raising wages will help further uplift our economy and strengthen our society.
Len is also a friend to our workforce in Virginia. There is no reason why Virginia cannot remain the best state in the nation to do business while also making our Commonwealth the best place to work in America. That includes protecting the rights of our firefighters, teachers, police and corrections officers. Len will also fight to enforce workplace safety and licensing to protect our workers in the trades. Without a strong workforce, there would be no one to work for our institutions and businesses. We need new leaders like Len who will be a friend for us in the General Assembly.
In May of this year alone, there were over 45 victims of gun violence in Hampton Roads. Twelve of those souls were lost during the horrific mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Len was just across the street from a Chesapeake Memorial Day Block Party when 10 partygoers were shot less than a week prior. Every day, between three and four of our neighbors die from gun violence in Virginia.
The time to protect our kids and communities from senseless gun violence is tragically overdue. Len deeply understands the grief and gravity of gun violence after having both family and friends suffer its all too now familiar and tragic consequences. Support for common sense gun safety measures is almost universal, but it will take new leaders like Len to make gun safety a reality in Virginia.